Fantastic! It is probably too early in the year to be mentioning or even discussing the best concerts of the year but for me I reckon I just experienced it. It what seemed an eternity since their new album Dreamers Are Waiting came out Crowded House finally kicked off their Australian tour in Adelaide and Covid was not going to get in the way of this one.
Middle Kids opened proceedings and having seen them play a handful of times it is great to see them take a huge step up and playing in front of even bigger audiences. Relishing the opportunity they played a really tight set and for such a relatively young band they have plenty of hits in the armoury. Opening with Bad Neighbours their set was loaded with great moments including Edge Of Town, R U 4 Me?, Questions and finishing on Today We’re The Greatest.
Crowded House! Wow! This as Neil Finn described it was a “joyous” celebration after a tough couple of years of literally no touring and finally being able to showcase songs off their new album Dreamers Are Waiting. The staging was really well done looking like they were on an island with waves about to crash in complemented some projections on screen. When you have a discography as strong as Crowded House’s the music does all the talking.
The first song on the set list was Weather With You to which Neil Finn responded “Adelaide, it is so good to see you”. Mean To Me followed and bass player Nick Seymour said that he was feeling “puffed” and “out of breath” having had Covid six weeks ago and hadn’t really got gig fit just yet. Neil made the jibe that Nick had it two years ago! There was a brief reflection of the venues played in Adelaide from Thebarton Theatre to Toucan nightclub they were grateful to be back and playing in front of people again.
After World Where You Live the Middle Kids joined the band on stage for a couple of songs as being in a quarantine bubble there is no chance to hang out but still hoping by the end of the tour they can share stories of what they did in their dressing rooms. The Middle Kids providing some awesome backing vocals on To The Island and Playing With Fire. Neil Finn asked how many in the crowd walked in tonight and that he got lost earlier in the day going for a ride and almost ending up in the hills.
Conceding that this was their first night of the tour and still working “shit” out and even suggesting that they were a bit rusty you would hardly know it. Fall At Your Feet was just stunning and the snippet of Sunny Afternoon by The Kinks in Pineapple Head was just brilliant. Neil Finn at times got a bit tangled up and “wasn’t up to date” with his spins but having a lot of fun up there. Having his sons Elroy (drums) and Liam (guitar and vocals) must be awesome Dad moment. Show Me The Way, Don’t Stop Now and Whatever You Want are great tunes from the new album and were great to hear live.
The crowd really responded to the hits and singing a long word for word. Crowded House well and truly have an abundance of riches playing back to back hits with When You Come, Private Universe, Four Seasons In One Day and Sister Madly. Love Isn’t Hard At All made its live debut with Neil Finn talking about the album art work and whether there was a lion that anyone had noticed. The Entertainment Centre was all lit up with everyone’s mobile phone lights on Don’t Dream It’s Over topping the list of many highlights for the evening. The set finished in a blaze of glory with big hits Locked Out and Distant Sun.
The encore was a real treat starting with Something So Strong which had a teaser of I Got You by Split Enz. Neil Finn said that one of the guys we miss the most left us some great songs playing David Bowie’s Changes. That was awesome! Goodnight Everyone also made its live debut and was Liam Finn’s time to shine. Elephants off the Intriguer album was a great inclusion also. Everyone managed to find plenty of voice on the emotive Better Be Home Soon and as Neil Finn said that “good times are coming”. A fantastic show and one not to miss.
Live Review By Rob Lyon
Catch Crowded House on the following dates. Tickets from Live Nation..